The Jews have introduced a theology of the history of salvation, a messianism that is
realized in the history of a people. Christians have also unlocked civil history, moved by
charity that addresses the needs of men, for the growth of dignity and civilization. But, at the
time of theorizing, St. Augustine made a great theology of history that was taken up by
Bossuet and secularized by Hegel and Marx. Nobody has ever made a philosophy of history,
with a certain exception in Vico.
Maritain was the only one to make a real philosophy of history that allowed Christians
to have an “ideological” framework placed between metaphysics and politics, capable of
guiding a coherent and compatible action with faith. The result is immense: in many countries
around the world, Christians enter politics, public and cultural agility. They have ruled for so
long in many countries.
The point of transcendence (if everything moves anything moves) that upholds the
philosophy of history Maritain put it on the morals, which for him, a good metaphysician,
used to refer to natural law and non-negotiable principles. In the thirties he hoped to be able
to work with the Marxists, who spoke of justice (and hid their crimes behind the curtain of
hell) while with the fascists he saw no possibility of dialogue. In fact, the point of
transcendence is in natural religiosity, which would open the eyes on/to Marxism. He was a
metaphysician, and the moral was sent back to God, but so many nominal Christians have left
morality in the faith and have gone into dialogue with the Marxists without a metaphysical
The theological change occured in the period of Vatican Council II, without
metaphysical substance, has wiped out the philosophy of history. Today, only theology of
history is made. And Catholics’ public commitment is over. There were so many things to
improve in Catholic public engagement, but the starting point was eliminated. There was
clericalism and confessionalism, but now there is almost only spirituality and caritas (very
gifted, but at the margins of culture and politics). It is true that for a true philosophy of
history it is necessary to approve the metaphysics of the act of being relational.
Read also “Philosophy of history”.